Last week, all trainees who embarked up their journey with Just Bread graduated.
Our final training session was marked as a celebratory event, with a communal lunch featuring a veritable smorgasbord of delicious dishes from our trainees’ countries of birth.  We had a special visitor from the Refugee Council, Caroline Olshewsky.  She is will be back in the autumn to get her hands messy with our new trainees.  After the last tray came out of the oven and its contents were cooled and proudly staged for display, we discussed upcoming events and distributed certificates.  There is still much to look forward to:  work placements, Celebrating Sanctuary on 15 June at the Southbank, Myatt’s Field Park Day 21 June from 1:00 – 5:00, and more.

We will notify you of details as we approach the date, but mark your calendars, Londoners!

So for the last time until we start up with our next cohort, here is a recap of our bake session:

photo 2We revisited favourite breads, some of which are technically difficult.  First up and requiring the most time to prepare were our very own enriched sweet Rosewater and Date Swirls.  Half of these beauties were flecked with almond slivers.  The other was topped with coconut for a bit of a Somali influence.  Bet you didn’t know date and coconut desserts are a popular treat for the Somali sweet tooth!  These buns are especially satisfying to make because they both conjure fond memories of the Women on the Move Awards (see blog post “Nothing left but crumbs!”) and require lots of delicate handling.

We also revisited our own unique savoury combinations: Olive, Coriander and Onion Swirls and Kuku Swirls (a variation on our own Sourdough Kuku Sticks inspired by the Iranian New Year frittata, kuku sabzi).  It is always an exciting moment to see the layers of seasoning distributed across the sheets of dough before rolling, cutting and shaping. The colours are gorgeous!

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As we hope to be demonstrating as well as selling Ethiopian ambasha at our upcoming public events, we made a bit more of that for further practice and to give one of our trainees another chance to demonstrate and teach her peers.  They turned out especially light and soft and were the perfect accompaniment to our smorgasbord lunch.  They are ever so easy and fun to make and we think it would a great bread to help engage with the public at Celebrating Sanctuary.  Maybe you!

As usual, the mood was high.  Yet everyone felt bittersweet about the finality of the training as the end of the session neared.  We reminded our lovely bakers that graduation for them is not the end, but rather the beginning.  There is much to look forward to still as a group (what a bond they have forged!) and as individuals working towards entering employment.  Stay tuned and thank you for sharing this journey with us.

If you’d like to contribute towards supporting the training of ladies in our autumn cohort, you may do so easily by clicking our our Just Giving link below.

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